The most successful post (meaning the most hits) on this blog to date has been for “Smiling Faces Sometimes 1971.” Since the song is a favorite, My New Year’s gift to you wonderful visitors in appreciation for the time you spend here with me, is more of Motown’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes” in accord with January 2009’s Theme (one of my favorites BTW) — Motown Covers Motown!
Rare Earth – Smiling Faces Sometimes (1973)
After one album on Verve and five on Motown’s “Rare Earth” subsidiary label, Motown decided to put the group with producer Norman Whitfield to try to get a hit album for #6.
“Ma” was the result and it too only charted a mediocre #65 Pop but peaked # 12 on the R&B charts. In fact, for whatever reason, all of the group’s Motown fare did better on the R&B charts than the Pop charts. Goes to show how loyal the fans of the Motown songs were: I have heard many Motowner’s say in many interviews over the years — the songs are so great that anyone can sing them and they sound good! (No disrespect intended to Rare Earth is meant by this statement so please no attacks.)
Before you hit the play button above to check out this cover please be reminded it is six minutes long so get comfortable. You know how Mr. Whitfield was! 😉
David Ruffin – Smiling Faces Sometimes (1974)
Ex-Temptation David Ruffin’s solo career had pretty much peaked – so Motown put him with, their apparent go to Producer, Norman Whitfield for his fifth solo set with Motown in 1974 entitled ” Me ‘n Rock ‘n Roll are Here To Stay.”
Of course four of the eight cuts on the album were written or co-written by Whitfield himself — hence the inclusion of the Barrett Strong & Norman Whitfield penned “Smiling Faces Sometimes” was no surprise. Of course David’s version is like none other produced to come out of Motown. Just listen and judge for yourself then please write in with you comments after voting below. I would love to hear what you have to say about this one. (SMILE)